Diversity

CPB supports public media programs and services that inform, educate, enlighten and enrich the public for free and commercial free and that help inform civil discourse essential to American society. It is CPB's particular responsibility to encourage the development of content that involves creative risk and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, especially children and minorities. 

CPB helps public media serve diverse audiences and reflect the communities they serve by fostering a public media system that is inclusive in its content, audiences and workforce—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, religion, culture, point of view and geography.

Support for independent and minority producers is one of the ways CPB ensures diversity in programming. Through the National Minority Consortia and direct grants, CPB funds the following organizations:

In addition, CPB provides Community Service Grants to 78 minority public radio stations, including stations licensed to Native American tribes and historically black colleges and universities. CPB also funds Native Voice One, the public radio distribution service that provides programming targeted to stations on Native reservations.

To foster a diverse workforce and on-air talent, CPB-funded projects include:

  • WGBH’s Next Generation Leadership Program, the Firelight Documentary Lab for diverse media makers, and the Jacquie Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund to support media projects created by diverse filmmakers.
  • WNYC’s Werk It podcast festival to increase the number of women hosts in public radio, and Talent Quest, which discovered Glynn Washington, host of Snap Judgment that airs on over 250 public media stations.
  • AIR’s mentorships, fellowships, seminars and New Voices scholarships connect early-career and professional content creators to professional development opportunities.
  • Public media participation in industry conferences such as the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Media Summit and AFI Docs, which bring together diverse content creators and industry leaders to explore trends in media and filmmaking.
  • Public Media Executive Fellowship to provide work experience with the CPB executive team for recent college graduates from diverse backgrounds. Opportunities to apply are announced on the CPB jobs page.

To attract diverse audiences to public media, CPB supports the development of innovative content and formats including:

  • Chicago Public Radio introduced Vocalo Radio in 2007 to reach a more diverse audience by emphasizing listener-contributed content. Today, Vocalo offers a contemporary music mix of hip-hop, R&B, indie rock and dance complimented by community engagement and community-based programming. With support from CPB, Vocalo and Chicago Public Radio are further developing this “Urban Alternative” format based on insights from market research and focus groups with listeners. Other public media stations are applying the findings as they implement the format in their markets.
  • Southern California Public Radio develops English-language, multimedia news coverage for a diverse — and diversifying — Southern California community, including the daily two-hour public affairs program “Take Two.”

CPB has supported nearly 100 primetime, children’s and innovative projects with more than $60 million since 2010, including:

CPB-funded Projects